Time management consultant Edward Brown argues that interruptions are a taxing but very avoidable drain on our time, costing the U.S. economy one trillion dollars in 2015, and still growing! Forty to 60 percent of our most productive time is consumed by interruptions. The good news, Brown said, is that it’s a fixable problem, even in an open office floor plan.
Interruptions are not benign. They throw the employee off task. Employees waste time reassembling their thoughts and resources. They lose momentum and get frustrated, distressed and fatigued. And they make errors.
Brown’s advice: Have people take note of how much time they lose to interruptions on a typical day. Then put a value on it. This exercise will provide tremendous incentive to change and reveal the source of the interruptions. Then teach them how they can protect their time and still meet the Time Bandits’ needs. It’s not just about protecting time, but about helping people work together more harmoniously and changing people’s lives for the better.